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Hamdeen Sabbahi stumps on role in Egyptian military

CAIRO, June 17 (UPI) -- A presidential candidate and former member of the Egyptian Parliament said the military would get more authority if he were elected.

A military council assumed control over Egypt after weeks of deadly riots forced Hosni Mubarak to resign in February after serving for three decades as Egyptian president.

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Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi told Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm that, if elected, if would push for broader military control in the country.

"There would be an article in the constitution that widens its authority so security could be restored," he said. "I believe that the military will respect the people's will in case it elects a civilian president and will cooperate with him."

Officials in the former regime are under investigation for the deaths of hundreds of demonstrators during the revolution. The former interior ministry allegedly ordered snipers to target unarmed civilians. The military, however, was widely respected during the revolution.

Sabbahi said he's the candidate that is most in touch with the Egyptian people but recognized former Arab League Secretary-General and presidential hopeful Amr Moussa as "the most famous among the Egyptians, and we, the people, go for whom we know better."

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Presidential elections in Egypt are tentatively to be later this year.

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